Hancock County, kentucky

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Kentucky Historical Markers in Hancock County

State marker #667
(Pate House)
3 miles W. of Hawesville, KY 334
     Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of United States, won his first law case here, 1827. Charged by the Commonwealth of Kentucky with operating ferry without license; Lincoln pleaded his own case in trial at the home of presiding Justice of the Peace, Samuel Pate. Pate encouraged Lincoln to study law and loaned him books. Lincoln often visited here on "law days".

State marker #762
(Court House)
Hawesville, Courthouse lawn, US 60 & KY 69
     For John Hancock, 1737-93. Patriot, statesman and soldier. President of Continental Congress, 1775-77, and bold first signer of the Declaration of Independence. Mayor-general of Mass. militia in Revolutionary War, member of the Mass. Constitutional Convention, 1780, governor 1780-85, 1787-93. He presided over Mass. convention to ratify U.S. constitution, 1788.

State marker #1678
(Log Home of James Dupey)
4 1/2 mi. SW of Hawesville, KY 1389
     Site of Hancock's first county court, 300 yds. south, held in home of James Dupey, Mar. 1829. The two-story log structure also scene of first circuit court, in April. Samuel C. Jennings appointed clerk; John Sterett, sheriff. County seat was to be on Richard Hawes' land and named Hawesville. The surveyor of Breckinridge Co. was designated to lay out Hancock's county lines.

State marker #1738
(City of Hawesville)
Hawesville, Main St., KY 3101
     Hancock County and Hawesville were created by Ky. law January 3, 1829. County seat was named for Richard Hawes, who donated land for town. His son, Richard, Jr., became Confederate governor of Kentucky, 1862. Hancock's first cannel coal produced commercially, 1832; mine operated by Charles Landers. Venture drew workers and investors from as far away as England and Ireland.

State marker #1756
(Riverview Restaurant)
Hawesville, 2nd scenic overlook on US 60, 1 1/2 mi. E. of KY 69
     Below is view of river bottom land where John Cannon, riverboat pilot and builder of fine steamboats for lower Mississippi trade, was born in 1820. By 1840 this skilled pilot began his career as steamboat entrepreneur. His most famous achievement was the ROBERT E. LEE, which won over the NATCHEZ in celebrated steamboat race from New Orleans to St. Louis in 1870.
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State marker #1789
(City of Lewisport)
Lewisport, Jct. KY 334 & 657
     Formerly called Little Yellow Banks, town was renamed Lewisport in 1839 in honor of John Lewis, one of the first permanent settlers in area. He was an early surveyor of land between Salt and Green rivers. Original town plat drafted by James and John Prentis, 1837; town was incorporated in 1844. Logging and building of flatboats were first chief industries here.

State marker #1856
(Hancock County Museum)
Water St., Hawesville
     Rails of Louisville, St. Louis, and Texas Railroad laid here June 9, -1888. First passenger train ran between Owensboro and Stephensport Oct. 7, 1888. Service between Evansville and Louisville began in April 1889. Rail line later became Louisville, Henderson, St. Louis R.R. and then part of L&N system in 1929. See over. Presented by National-Southwire Aluminum Co.

     Present station constructed 1902; additions made ca. 1919. During heyday, six L&N trains stopped here daily. Embarkation point for Army troops during World War I. Pres. Harry S. Truman spoke here during an election campaign whistlestop, Sept.30, 1948. Local passenger service ended in the late 1950s. See over. Presented by National-Southwire Aluminum Co.
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State marker #1914
(Emmick Plantation House)
Jct. KY 334 & Eminick Rd., Lewisport
     Thompson Ferry is the site where many biographers of Abraham Lincoln say Thomas Lincoln family crossed the river to Indiana in 1816. A river ferry in area established Feb. 1804, by Daniel Lewis; later operated by Hugh Thompson. Ferry run by John and Lin Dill in 1827, when they charged Abe Lincoln with illegally ferrying passengers on river. Lincoln later acquitted.

     One of Hancock County's first roads, built in 1815, ran from Thompson Ferry Landing toward Hardinsburg in Breckinridge County. The land on this site later bought by George Emmick, who built on the riverfront here one of the oldest houses in Hancock County in 1854. Presented by Mrs. Retha Emmick Newell.
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State marker #1935
Lewisport, 4th & Market Sts.
     Pro-southern guerrillas led by Hawesville native Bill Davison and Isaac Coulter captured Morning Star here, Dec.23, 1864. They killed three Union soldiers and robbed other passengers and crew of some $3,000 cash and jewelry. On Jan. 4, 1865, these same guerrillas burned the Daviess Co. courthouse at Owensboro. Records were saved. Presented by City of Lewisport.

     Lewisport's first business district was along river on Front St. First permanent store built by Joseph C. Pell, 1841; his was only structure standing on Front St. after 1849 fire. Another early merchant was I.B. Hayden. In 1882, street began crumbling into river; only a footpath by 1920. Fourth became main business street instead. Presented by City of Lewisport.